Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo
Architect Lane Allen has a life-long passion for art, origami, geometry, and structure. He explores the relationships—both real and imagined—among the geometries of origami, the geometries of structure, and works of architecture, both modern and historic.
"A wall and a column...what they have in common is an interest in looking at the cultural agency of traditional building materials and their ability to speak."
In A Wall and A Column: 2 Projects from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 16, architect and University at Buffalo Peter Reyner Banham Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor Ang Li presents a pair of site specific installations that explore the cultural agency of vernacular building materials. Horror Vacui is an installation in Lisbon, Portugal that examines the ability of building facades to “speak” through the medium of the Portuguese “azulejo” - hand-painted ceramic tiles often depicting scenes from historic or civic events. The piece explores the narrative potential of bricks and mortar within contemporary image sharing and crowdsourcing platforms. No Frills is an installation in Buffalo, New York that stems out of an interest in the industrialized production of terracotta in the 19th century as a new kind of ornamental language. In a semi-abandoned Chevrolet Factory by the architect Albert Kahn, a 13-foot column interrupts the existing grid of the assembly floor, acting as a bridge between the vast scale of obsolete industry and the human scale of the architectural ornament.
"I tell people I wear two hats—one of the designer and one of the builder, but as I evolve I wish to wear one hat, that of the Master Builder."
In the Return of the Master Builder from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and Owner/Principle of HUME PROJECTS, LLC, Matthew Hume discusses his work creating residential and commercial projects, from the design phase through the construction phase. The traditional Master Builder once integrated both design and construction processes by direct involvement. The profession of architecture and processes of building are shifting back toward a more integrated approach forcing architects to re-evolve into earlier versions of themselves. Hume's recent work in design and construction projects serves as an example of this paradigm shift.
“Think of me as a time traveler. I’m going to take you back to a place called Buffalo in the 1970s.”
In Buffalo Entertainment District Project, 1977-78 from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, attorney and urban renewal advocate, Frank Palen, recalls the creation of a historic district for theatre and culture from a once abandoned rust belt urban core. From 1977 to 1979, Palen was Research Associate in the Center for Community Research and Development at the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Environmental Design, serving as Coordinator of the Buffalo Entertainment District Project. The University at Buffalo’s graduate studio investigated the potential of promoting a theater district in what was then an increasingly abandoned section of Downtown, despite various setbacks and a challenging political climate. The result was a very high-profile effort that set an agenda for the redevelopment of Buffalo that continues today.
"How can we make our endeavors clear and approachable enough that we can actually contribute to the public debate at a very high level?"
In Rethinking Resettlement from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, Erkin Özay, reviews some of the social and design issues involved in rehousing and supporting Buffalo, New York's new Americans. Özay's Spring 2016 UB graduate studio explored the potential for temporary and long-term housing for newly arrived refugees and immigrants, as well as the role of supporting institutions, community assets, and reimagining the existing housing stock. Özay's project investigates "compassionate urbanism." He is interested in how groups of limited means--new and existing residents--support each other through careful intersections.
"They wanted to infuse architecture with research and they proposed to build a pedagogical process around project work."
In The Seneca-Salamanca Leasehold Study from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, Research Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Bradshaw Hovey, Ph.D., recounts how one of the great student research projects from the school's 50-year history was devised by the school's founding leadership. One of the very first projects to engage UB students was a paid commission for the Seneca Nation of Indians to advise them on negotiations for a new lease between the nation and the residents of the City of Salamanca, NY whose homes sat on Seneca land. That such a project would be undertaken by architecture students was a signal about how expansively the founders of the school conceived of its professional domain.
"These kids have big ideas and only through making do those ideas come alive."
In Architecture + Education from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Beth Tauke, joined by graduate student Randy Fernando, we learn about the Architecture + Education program. This initiative of the Buffalo Architecture Foundation and the University at Buffalo earned the 2013 AIA Diversity Recognition Program award for introducing thousands of grade-schoolers to architecture over the past 13 years. Faculty and students work with practitioners in the Buffalo Public School system to introduce students to the idea of architecture, concepts in the practice, and career possibilities. The program's motto, adapted from Dr. Seuss, is true to its mission: "Think LEFT & think RIGHT & think LOW & think HIGH. Oh, the things you can come up with if only you try!"
"What was I thinking when I came to Buffalo? ... I was coming to join a social movement in our city and region, and I dove in head first."
In Buffalo Niagara Design from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, Dean and Professor of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Robert Shibley, recounts his recruitment to Buffalo as Department Chair, 35 years ago. Upon the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the department, Shibley discusses his work with architecture and planning students, faculty and community members on various urban planning projects in the region. Across an arc of a quarter century, the UB Urban Design Project and the UB Regional Institute have been key players in the evolution of a broad regional planning framework.